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Several heavyweights bite the dust in Gujarat election

Source: PTI
December 15, 2002 22:48 IST
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A number of prominent Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including several ministers and Congress heavyweights fell like nine pins in the Gujarat assembly election.

The election, which saw BJP reaffirming its hold in the state, witnessed the battle of the ballot turning into a Waterloo for as many as nine ministers, including former chief minister Suresh Mehta, Assembly Speaker Dhirubhai Shah and Agriculture Minister Purushottam Rupala.

Prominent among Congress leaders who lost, included former chief minister Dilip Parikh from Dhandhuka, former deputy chief minister Narhari Amin from Sabarmati, former CLP leader Naresh Rawal from Vijapur, Congress chief whip Siddharth Patel from Dabhoi and Mahendrasinh Vaghela, son of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee chief Shankersinh Vaghela from Sami in Patan district of north Gujarat.

Among the BJP ministers, who bit the dust included Prohibition Minister Fakir Vaghela from Dasada, Finance Minister Nitin Patel from Kadi, Minister of State for Cooperation Vadibhai Patel from Gandhinagar, Irrigation Minister Babu Bokhiria from Porbandar, Labour and Employment Minister Kanji Patel from Chikhli and Minister of State for Panchayats Ranchhod Desai.

Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who led the BJP campaign, was in the forefront of victorious candidates having bagged Maninagar with a massive 75,000-vote margin trouncing Yatin Oza of the Congress. Maya Kodnani, who was re-nominated by BJP from Naroda, worst-hit in post-Godhra communal violence, won by a thumping majority as also Amit Shah, a close associate of Modi, from Sarkhej.

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